Research finds mango is more effective in treating constipation than fiber supplements
If you are one of those that stays away from the mango for weight or other considerations, think again.
Because a Texas A & M University pilot study published in the peer-reviewed journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research suggests that next time you suffer from constipation, you may want to consider grabbing a mango instead of reaching for a fiber supplement.
The researchers found that mango, which contains a combination of polyphenols and fiber, was more effective than an equivalent amount of fiber powder in relieving constipation. Made famous by Amitabh Bachchan in Piku, constipation is a very common affliction, especially in old age.
Made famous by Amitabh Bachchan in Piku, constipation is a very common affliction, especially in old age.
“Our findings suggest that mango offers an advantage over fiber supplements because of the bioactive polyphenols contained in mangos that helped reduce markers of inflammation. It also changes the make-up of the microbiome, which includes trillions of bacteria and other microbes living in our digestive track,” said corresponding author Susanne U. Mertens-Talcott, an associate professor in the department of nutrition and food science at Texas A & M University.
“Fiber supplements and laxatives may aid in the treatment of constipation, but they may not fully address all symptoms, such as intestinal inflammation,” she added.
For the four-week study, 36 adult men and women with chronic constipation were randomly divided into two groups: the mango group ate about 300 grams of mango a day (equivalent to about 2 cups or 1 mango), while the fiber group consumed the equivalent amount of fiber powder into their daily diet (1 teaspoon or 5 grams of dietary psyllium fiber supplement).
Throughout the study, the participants’ food intake was assessed by a food questionnaire to ensure that their eating habits did not change. The food intake analysis revealed that the mango and fiber groups consumed equivalent amounts of calories, carbohydrates, fiber, protein and fat.
Measures of constipation severity were taken at the beginning and end of four weeks, and both the mango and fiber groups improved over the course of the study. However, mangos were found to be more effective in reducing the symptoms of constipation in the participants than fiber alone.